Every Tuesday night, I head down to the basement of my friend Adam's house, and we jam. Actually, Adam doesn't like it when I call it a "jam"; he'd prefer to "practice". Regardless, every Tuesday, we play musical instruments together in a basement with ceilings 6" too low. Crammed into the tiny room is our homemade PA system, comprising of a borrowed power mixer, a tiny solid state guitar amp head, and a Radio Shack 12" speaker, my Epiphone 5 watt tube amp and cab, Adam's drum set, and a bunch of mic stands and mics. I suppose my Ibanez guitar hangs out down there a lot, too.
Anyway, so we're in this tiny room. I would say it's about 12x15, with 5'10" ceilings (I'm about 6'1", Adam's even taller). The walls are fieldstone and mortar, and the floor is cement with a rug that I destroyed one night after we stumbled home from the bars. There's a bare light bulb on one side of the room, suspended from the ceiling. The best part: we have a mini fridge. This means that we don't have to go far to get beer while we're "jamming".
We do have a band, actually. If you're curious, go to facebook and look up If These Trees Were Clouds. We've got a few songs up there, along with some videos and pictures. Check it out, although I won't feel bad if you think that we suck. Our EP is due to be released before the end of the month...
I guess the real story I wanted to tell is of the jam (yes, jam) we had last night. We recently added a bass player to our repertoire, so we've been rehearsing all of our songs to make sure he knows what to do. His name is Charles (pronounced "Chah-lls"), and he's doing pretty well so far. We also had our good friend Matt over. Matt has his own project, The Gutsy Tumbler Band, and he's always fun to jam with.
So, after we rehearsed, a little jam time was deemed necessary. Now, I love to jam. I love not knowing what I'll play next. I love the spontaneous nature of playing music with other talented musicians. I love getting into a "serious thing" and just playing my heart out. This is a level of awesome that is rather hard to obtain, sadly, because finding that sweet spot where everyone connects can be difficult. I can tell you that we most definitely got there last night. The feeling is hard to describe; it's something of a euphoric blast of emotion mixed with tonal nirvana, with a little bit of pure joy to top it off. To be playing a part, an awesome part, and to look around the tiny, stone-walled room, and to see your friends all doing their own parts, all connecting, everyone's on the same level, is just an experience that one has to...well, experience.
The message of this post: if you can play a musical instrument, go make friends who also play musical instruments, and make music with them. It can be the simplest chord progression ever; it'll still feel nearly magical.